Death In The Family

I had intended on starting a series of posts today reflecting on whether or not bad behaviors necessarily mean people are bad themselves … but my heart just isn’t in it.

There must be some way to stop all this death.

Suicide is such a frightening word to consider, and it occupied a space in the news both in the county I live in and on the national level Robin WIlliamstoday. Out of respect for the family (and because I don’t really know what happened), I won’t say too much about the local instance, other than to say it allegedly involved a gunshot wound to the head. Everyone probably knows about the national news by now: Robin Williams is dead.

Authorities are stating that Williams cause of death is believed to be “a suicide due to asphyxia.” I’m sure if you glanced at the top of this page, you noticed the word “Christian” in the blog title. I know little to nothing of Williams religious affiliations, but he seemed at times to not exactly be fond of Christianity as a whole (even though he was raised in a very religious home). His language, particularly in his stand-up routines, could be off-the-charts crude. He was one of the funniest men alive, but I’m not sure what was in his soul.

None of that mattered today. When I read the news that Robin Williams had died, I felt as if I had lost a family member. And that made me very, very sad.

There was a certain tenderness beneath all the madcap antics Williams put on display. That tenderness emerged later on in his acting career in movies such as AwakeningsGood Will Hunting, and even Patch Adams (which may contain the funniest joke ever involving gynaecology). And there were also the numerous trips to rehab for alcohol and drug addiction, and, finally, the severe depression he was apparently battling prior to his death.

Through his comedy and acting, he was a part of my life. Through his struggles, I learned he was a human being, just like me.

I don’t know that a faith in God could have eased Williams’ mental suffering and the anguish that led him to apparently take his own life. Part of me wonders how he managed to make it through so many other trials only to commit suicide at the age of 63. At some point, the struggle overtook him, and he couldn’t find the strength to go on.

There must be some way to stop all this death.

Interestingly, in a post on Williams’ own Take That blog site from 2011, he wrote about how he didn’t have to be enslaved by feelings of sadness and depression. I only wish these words could have sustained him today…

“We do get ‘hard wired’ by certain things about ourselves, negative soul/life destroying stuff … seems impossible to get out of. It isn’t, it’s a choice.

“Things can change. I can choose happy … what a gift.”

 

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